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Red Dress Day – Honouring and Remembering

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May 9, 2023

May 5 marked the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) in Canada – also known as Red Dress Day – and Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day in the United States. The day honours and raises awareness of the thousands of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ (Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual plus) people who have been subject to disproportionate levels of violence in our society.  

To mark this important day, the Embassy is displaying an exhibit in the Main Lobby from May 1-10. Inspired by our check-in with Liz Halina earlier this year and based on The REDress Project by Anishinaabe artist Jaime Black, red dresses from the Embassy community will be hung in the lobby to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, highlighting the absence of loved ones who were once close.  

Black’s exhibit was first shown at the University of Winnipeg in 2011, where she placed red dresses in public spaces as a visual reminder of the pain and loss felt by families and survivors of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. Her project has now been installed in public spaces throughout Canada and the United States. 

The Embassy also commemorated this day by turning the external lights red in honour and memory of those taken too soon and those still missing, and our commitment towards reconciliation.

Read more on Canada’s reconciliation journey here.  

“Our relationships with Indigenous Peoples are strengthened when we collectively address injustices, combat prejudice, and pursue the truth, as painful as it is.” – Ministers Hajdu, Miller, and Vandal, May 5, 2022. Read this year’s statement from Ministers Miller, Hajdu, Vandal and Ien here.